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Sunshine on Leith shines bright

A film adaption of the stage musical by Scottish playwright Stephen Greenhorn, incorporating 13 songs by The Proclaimers.

 

Everyone knows the hit pop song I will walk 500 miles! And everyone loves a good ol’ Scottish sing-a- long! So what’s not to like?

After serving in Afghanistan, Davy (George McKay) and Ally (Kevin Guthrie) return to their hometown of Edinburgh. Having witnessed one of their close friends being crippled in action, they attempt to settle back in to their everyday lives. Both working in a call centre, the boys wonder where their future is heading.

While Davy is in search of a more fulfilling career, Ally is more focused on settling down with Davy’s sister, Liz (Freya Mavor). On a last minute set-up, Davy meets Liz’s friend Yvonne (Antonia Thomas) and unexpectedly falls for her. As the plot progresses, it begins to focus on Davy’s parents Jean and Rab and their 25th wedding anniversary, including a shocking twist about Rab’s past which tests their relationship.

Although some of the singing is questionable, the upbeat, Mamma Mia-esque melodies and cheery storyline make it impossible for the audience not to love this film. The endearing cobbled streets of Leith add to the heart-warming, feel-good ambience, not to mention the spectacular panoramic views of the capital Scottish city with brilliant sunsets and the silhouette of Edinburgh Castle.

However, at some points the production can seem a little clumsy but, for me, it added to the off-beat, quirky characteristics of the film. For those who go into the film a bit too seriously, it may be easier just to cringe when the cast break into song.

But beneath the cheesy trivial drama the director, Dexter Fletcher, manages to inject some gritty Scottish charm. By the end of the film you will struggle to leave the screen without a grin on your face or singing along to the music!

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